Posted in ✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas, Trinidad (part trois): Palms

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:3

The shore of Maracas is dotted with palm trees gently swaying or furiously rocking however the wind blows. 

Posted in ✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas, Trinidad (part deux): postcardesque!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Two of my favorite snapshots from my Maracas trip! I think they’re very postcardesque! 

Pretty soon, I’ll post about the entire trip so stay tuned! 😀

Posted in ✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas Lookout, Trinidad

Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:3

For both locals and visitors, the lookout before heading down the north coast road is a popular stop. The view is magnificent on either side of the lookout. I even managed to capture this beauty…

…it was a late evening and the sun was just right, I assure you that I did not tamper with the photo in any form for God’s splendid creation needs no filter. In a future upcoming Travel Tuesday episode, I’ll share more photos from this trip.

Posted in Trinidad & Tobago 💙

My first trip to Tobago 🇹🇹

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I’ve been behind in writing posts, scheduling, and reading blogs lately. I’ve had some posts backed up in drafts for months now that need editing or dumping, so I’ll try to get to that soon. 

Anyways, this post is about my trip to Tobago, so allow me to introduce the sister isle.

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Mabrika!!

(In the language of one of Tobago’s original Amerindian tribes, welcome)

Tobago is known as the twin island state of Trinidad. Yeah, we (Trinidad) have a twin. But we’re (Trinidad) still the better-looking twin! Okay, that was childish. Tobago is the smaller of the twin-island state and was once home to an Amerindian community before Christopher Columbus’s claims about “discovering” the island. I am certain that the Caribs did not report it missing! 

Daniel Defoe was inspired to write “Robinson Crusoe” after reading a sales pamphlet on Tobago and to this day, the island is known as Crusoe’s Isle. 

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The island is home to 123 varieties of butterflies and 200 species of birds. It has one of the most beautiful drives with some of the beach vantage points in the world. If you’re into marine activities, Tobago encourages you to indulge in diving, glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, wind-surfing, and even kite-boarding. 

Behind every landmark is rich in history, but if I start talking about the Dutch, the British, the Courlanders/Kerlanders (modern-day Latvia) and of course, the French, we’ll be here all day, so if you’re looking for a scenic adventure, visit Tobago today.

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I’ll try to be short. I’ll also try to post a lot of photos!

On the morning of departure (May 31st, 2018), I was up early for I was excited. However, what was supposed to be a midday departure by boat turned into after 1 PM. We were greeted by boring Elvis Presley music and after everyone was on board and the safety announcement was made, Mission: Impossible III came on and as Ethan Matthew Hunt graced the screen with his presence, I was like, “How did they know I was boarding the boat today?!”😁I did not watch the movie, though. I was more focus on the sights before me and silently communicating with God. 

When the boat docked in the port of Scarborough, I just wanted to sleep as it was nearing evening. However, when I got to Sandy Beach Point, I didn’t bother to settle in right away. I went for a walk with my sister, took a photo of the remnant of the sunset…

…and then relaxed in the pool. It’s a pity I can’t swim! 😔The next day, we went driving around for a little bit…

…and squeezed in a visit to Fort Milford:

And later that day, we visited Pigeon Point:

That night, we wanted to go out for ice cream and what do you know! At the very end of the street which we stayed on was a homemade ice cream shop and the lady made some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted especially the rice flavor! I could still taste the ice cream. Yum! So we made a mini nightly ritual of going for the tasty treat.

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On our last day, we explored the countryside. We couldn’t do Nylon Pool, but there’s always next time. But I was excited about Parlatuvier Bay for I’ve always wanted to see it up close in person and I was not disappointed at all.

Tobago is panoramic, scenic, and colorful. The locals are helpful and welcoming. You can walk the streets any hour of the night and no one would bat an eye. Tobago embraces you and gets you to live in the moment. She gives you a peace of mind. 

As I end here, I am already packing for the next trip (in my mind). I hope to explore Tobago next time with my bestie for I missed having her with me. Everywhere I went, I thought of her and I know she would’ve appreciated the beautiful scenery! 

***GIF & separator via Google Search

Posted in Trinidad & Tobago 💙, Yes, This Is Our World. 🗺

Terror quake rocks Trinidad: a warning for the people

Last evening, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Trinidad sending people scampering out of buildings and houses and calling upon the name of the Lord. Venezuela and Grenada were also affected. It was the hardest earthquake we’ve ever experienced lasting over a minute. 

The house SHOOK so hard, I thought that it was going to rend in half. The windows rattled as if they’ll fall from their hinges and the floors felt as if it was raising up. We thought it wasn’t going to stop, but I was not afraid for I know God was with us. Traffic lights went down, the electricity went out in many areas including ours and some buildings suffered cracks. The aftershock came in early this morning, but it was not bad. 

It could’ve been worse.

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Look at these stats: 

^ 21 August 2018: 0 people killed after a 6.9 earthquake hit Trinidad & Tobago. Also, a 7.3 hit Venezuela and there were no reports of death or injuries. Guyana felt the earth tremor.

^ 5 August 2018: 460 people killed after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok.

^ 20 April 2013: 160 people killed and 5,700 in China’s rural south-western Sichuan province after a 6.6 earthquake.

^ 22 February 2011: more than 160 people killed in the New Zealand city of Christchurch after a 6.3 earthquake.

^ 14 April 2010: 400 people died after a 6.9 earthquake strikes western China’s Qinghai province.

^ 12 January 2010: 230,000 people died in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince after a 7.0 earthquake.

7 December 1988: 25,000 people die in north-west Armenia after a 6.9 earthquake.

^ 18 April 1906: 3000 people die after a 7.9 earthquake strikes San Francisco from the collapsing buildings or the subsequent fire which lasted for several days. It was one of the worst and deadliest earthquakes in the history of the USA.

We should be thankful and take it as a warning, but people here are going “God is really a Trini.” He isn’t. The next time an earthquake of that magnitude hit T&T, I don’t think we’re going to be so “lucky”. God is not a nation’s mascot. He is not a Trini. He is Alpha and Omega. And this was a warning call which many of us won’t heed because “God is a Trini”.

Posted in Behind the lens! 📸, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Scenes from Mayaro! 🇹🇹

Hello Friends! 😄

I love discovering my island and I had the pleasure of visiting Mayaro via an excursion trip. It’s a pretty long drive according to which part of the country one is coming from, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

I took these while in the back seat of my family friend’s moving car (note the dancing poui tree on the right!):

  

When we arrived in Sangre Grande almost everyone breathed in a sigh of relief, but there were so many more miles to go! We got out to use restrooms and buy refreshments. 

This photo was also taken while driving.

Breaking down the etymology of the origin of the name ‘Mayaro’: ‘maya’ was an Arawakan plant that grew in abundance in the area and ‘ro’ is the Arawak term meaning “the place of”. “The place of maya” or “Mayaro”. But of course, what’s Trinidadian history without the French involvement? 

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French planters settled in Mayaro in the 18th century after they were granted land by the Spanish Governor, Don José María Chacón. At this time, there were no roads leading to Mayaro and the sea was the only way people could get in and out. A census report showed that only 408 people were residents at the time, but it didn’t stop them from having coffee and sugar cane plantations and even cotton estates. In the late 19th century, Mayaro was accessible by a steamer. 

France and Trinidad have a 200-year-old bilateral relationship and I’ll love to explore why the French left the most powerful influence on our culture in another post altogether. Before I get carried away, let me return to the trip.

The tall swaying palm trees are a familiar sight in the country. It’s almost as if they’re following you. 😆

Mayaro is one of our most popular holiday destinations. It got…

All the photos in this collage belong to me. 

When we finally got to the pristine beach a lot of people were frolicking in the warm waves (MILES of clear blue water), walking on the soft, soft fluffy sand and just enjoying the atmosphere. I managed to take a few pictures:

  

  

The sand is cushiony, soft, fluffy and velvety, so it’s better to walk barefooted and I found an abandoned sandcastle.

  

After saving a flopping fish in the sand, I came across a Portuguese Man O War!

Mayaro is also associated with the production of oil and natural gas, but nature will always come out on top for both local and foreign tourists. If you’re planning a trip to Trinidad, make sure you come to Mayaro for the sun, salt, and sand. 

Posted in Books & Reviews 📚, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Books #122-#124: Patterson, history and something cozy

Trying to read around the World Cup is proving to be doable. Also, I’ve acquired tons of new books and I am itching to read them, but I must finish at least another third of my TBR. I know I said that I was going to get around to doing some tags, but it’s highly unlikely at the moment. When the tournament winds down a little, I’ll get to them. 

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But I’m immune to coffee so let’s do some reviews. 😄

Book #122: The Murder House by James Patterson

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I am skeptical of characters called Noah. This one got a pass for his Matthew McConaughey hair. Wait, does Mc C even have nice hair? However, there was no need for the crucifixion reference on page 158 so I took away a coffee for that.

This book was peppered with too many F-bombs and Detective Jenna Murphy got her Irish up too many times.  I don’t think the book was particularly great. David Ellis could’ve done better and JP could’ve looked at the work before slapping his name on the cover. 1/5.

Book #123: Historic Landmarks of Port of Spain by Michael Anthony

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Although Spanish, POS has more of a French touch.

Imagine a Port of Spain in which trams ran and where horses were ridden into town. This is the POS that I wished I had known! Trinidad became an independent nation in 1962 and over the years, they’ve grown into their independence. 

This book covers the Great Fire of POS, however, POS was gutted by lots of fire over the years. It covers famous landmarks such as Woodford Square, the beautiful Magnificent Seven buildings, Globe Cinema and the Treasury Building. My utmost favorite part of POS is the Maraval area given that it’s rich in French history.

The book is divided into 10 parts so it is easy to navigate and the pictures are beautiful! 

A FEW HISTORICAL NOTES:

^ The 31-metre (103-foot) Colonial Life building on lower St Vincent Street was our first ‘skyscraper’. It was opened in 1954.

^ Fort Picton was built in 1803 on the Laventille Hill, but it was never used to defend POS.

^ The Church of the Holy Rosary is POS’s most outstanding example of late Victorian Gothic architecture. 

^ The Lapeyrouse Cemetery is on part of an old sugar estate established by Picot de Lapeyrouse after arriving from Grenada to Trinidad.

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#Yay4History

The book was a 6/5 for me. 

Book #124: Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

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Okay, first, I want to look at this bit in the plot summary:

The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

This was one big lie. Although one can tell that he is indeed smitten with his ex, Thomas did not flirt deliciously with Juliet and Juliet did not want to have any type of cake and eat it too because she was married to Carlos. These two characters have no sort of chemistry. Thomas is her ex-high school sweetheart and she is married. It doesn’t matter if she left her job on the ship because she had some problems with her Catalan husband, but she is married and she does nothing to state otherwise. She does not have any fantasy thoughts about Thomas and he doesn’t try to kiss her or touch her at any point during my speed reading.

That out of the way, this story is a tribute to Shakespeare *rolls eyes* and I think authors need to stop riding on the backs of old authors for attention. I am no fan of Shakespeare, but I read it anyway. To write a cozy mystery, you’ll need a small town (fictional if possible) where everyone knows your name.

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The town is Ashland, Oregan and everyone knows Juliet Capshaw’s name. 

The story starts off slow and eventually builds, but then it was back to slow again bordering on boring because most of the book was spent cooking. You know? Adding an ingredient to this, mixing things, pouring things, baking things! And when Jules isn’t baking, she is accusing EVERYONE of murder when she could’ve asked me for when I read the very first chapter I knew exactly who the murderer was no matter how hard the author tried to throw me off the train. So let us recap shall we?:

* Everyone in this story moonlights as a theatre actor even Thomas!

* Too much talking and showing how to bake or cook fancy dishes; less mystery.

* This line: The man in black had to be a man. (Page 170) I don’t like it. ‘Person’ would’ve been a better fit. I laughed out loud because like I said, Ellie tried her hardest to throw me off the train. 

* This fool (Juliet) never locks the door to the bakeshop.

* The “Romeo & Juliet” reference. Know what? One day, I’m going to sit down and read some of this man call Shakespeare’s work and see what the hype was all about. Solomon was a better writer, of this, I am certain.

* It was annoying whenever Jules asked her mom about Torte (the name of the bakeshop) financially, someone/thing cut in avoiding the reply. This went on for about a million or so chapters. Also, Jules teased about why she left her husband Carlos for the entire book. Of course, it’s only natural for the reader to think that cheating was involved when she talked about letters she found and declined to elaborate further until the dying chapters. It turns out that Carlos had a son who was writing to him and he didn’t tell her and when she found the letters, she left him. I could understand why she left, but I thought it was selfish. As his wife, she should’ve stayed and listened to what his reason was behind in not telling her about his son. 

2/5. I am beginning to think that maybe Cozy Mystery is not for me. 

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Posted in Espresso Shots ☕, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

DQ v Pizza Hut: a lesson in customer service

I honestly set out to write this post as a journal entry, but it led to this. Also, this post was supposed to have been writing at the beginning of this month, but eh, I had other better things to do. 

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Customer service in Trinidad has long been the talk of the town from city to country. Why? Because it’s hard to come by. I must say that the best service I’ve received is in San Fernando. The people there are nice, outgoing, friendly, and always willing to help no matter which store I may venture into.

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The best service I’ve ever received from a restaurant is Rizzoni’s. The people there were pleasant and courteous. Customer service over the phone? I don’t always count on it, but my bank is great at this, so kudos to you, bank! 

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Last month, we (as in my sisters, Tammy and I) visited Dairy Queen for my birthday after work. It was just a small intimate thing and I wanted a cold treat for it’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream. DQ had a special, I think it was 4 items for $40 or something like that, but it didn’t come across that way. We thought the advertised special was saying 4 sandwiches for $40 so we enquired of the cashier and she took time to explain the special thoroughly. 

We gave our orders and then sat down to wait. I was pleasantly surprised when a few minutes later, someone bought the sweets to our table. I had the strawberry cheesecake blizzard, but it was not what I expected it to be and I had to exchange with my sister who had the turtle peacan which was soooo delicious. I was actually surprised at how small the hamburger was and not to mention soggy. Although the food was not something to scream about and I don’t think I’ll return, I was pleased with the excellent customer service. They get a full five for going all out for the customer. 

Now on to Pizza Hut!

Whenever I’m in the mood for a delicious slice of pizza, my go-to options are Mario’s or Pizza Boys. Although I didn’t want to go, my sister wanted to treat me for my birthday at Pizza Hut and this time, it was 5 of us. Our waitor was slothful from the get-go and unwilling to explain something off the menu for my friend. When our orders came, he unceremoniously rest the food and the condiments at the edge of the table. If he could’ve dumped it, I am certain that he would’ve done so. The Maître D was also unpleasant and there was an instance where she was walking the floor, someone stopped her to ask a question, and she said, “Tell the person serving your table,” after listening to the question. 

The food and the company was good, but the service was dirt poor. Maybe it was an off night for the lad and management, but their attitude was offputting.

***Photos via my sisters and Tammykins 💙

Posted in Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Vote Trinidad and Tobago for Best Caribbean Travel Blog Post! 🇹🇹

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Good morning, fellow bloggers. I have a request to ask of you.

The Caribbean Media Awards will be honoring top Caribbean stories and Destination Trinidad and Tobago is up for a nomination!

A shortlist will be announced on May 07th and the winners will be revealed at the Travel Industry Awards Dinner on Thursday 7 June 2018, during Caribbean Week New York.

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The article is called 16 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Travel to Trinidad and TobagoDon’t worry, it’s all ‘tongue n cheek’. They’re actually 16 wonderful reasons to visit our beautiful island. You can vote here:

Best Caribbean Travel Blog2018

Oh, one more thing: you must have an account on Facebook to vote. We’re currently at #2 with 501 votes. Thank you for your votes. 😄

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